Even weather wants brand loyalty these days. “Blizzard” isn’t good enough. Wags on the east coast are working overtime to coin catchy names like Snowpocalypse and Snoverkill for the latest storms. I have to admit, I liked the sound of Snowmageddon 2.0 for yesterday’s second punch.
As I shoveled my sidewalk last night under glowering skies, I thought of this photo of Soviet troops parading on Red Square in November 1941. Back in the day, snow was removed there by an army of babushkas in shawls and sensible shoes. It was just another blizzard to them. With the Wehrmacht knocking on Moscow’s door, though, they must have hoped that snow would save them. They gave it a nickname, too. They called it General Zimoi — General Winter.
I published the photo first during a blizzard in 2008. Now it turns up steadily in Google image searches for Red Square. In the original post it triggered remote childhood memories:
When I was seven years old, on the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis, my brother taunted me with a dark family secret. I wasn’t born in Columbus, Ohio. I didn’t really belong to the family. I was adopted. They found me in a trash can on Red Square. Read more.